The John Report: WWE SmackDown 06/21/24 Review

WWE Smackdown June 21

This week’s WWE SmackDown featured three Money in the Bank qualifying matches, CM Punk in the house, and more.

From the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois, this is Smackdown for episode #1296. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

A video package aired about WWE Clash at the Castle from last Saturday in Scotland. It focused on CM Punk costing Drew McIntyre the World Title in Drew’s match against Damian Priest. It was a very controversial finish.

Let’s Hear from CM Punk

CM Punk made his entrance to a thunderous ovation from the crowd. Punk is a Raw guy, but here he is on Smackdown in his hometown of Chicago because he mentioned this at the Clash at the Castle press conference last week. It was a loud ovation for Punk along with a lot of “CM Punk” chants.

CM Punk spoke about how much pressure there is when you’re out there doing a promo in the ring. Punk mentioned July 17, 2011 when he promised that he would walk out of his hometown as the WWE Champion and that’s pressure. Punk said he could have embarrassed himself and Chicago, but did he do that? The crowd shouted: “No!” Punk got them to do it three times.

Punk said that he was told he was going to get jumped in Glasgow and we needed to hire extra security because if he interfered in the title match, he would ruin everybody’s day. Punk said he hates to kick a man when he’s down, but weeks turned into months since Drew McIntyre kicked Punk while he was down. Punk said that you can stay down, you can get back up and turn the other cheek, but he’s from Chicago and that’s not an option. Punk said that he would make Drew McIntyre’s life a living hell and he planned on burying his career six feet under. Punk said he didn’t think it would be that easy. Punk mentioned that Drew McIntyre has quit because he couldn’t take the pressure. Punk said that he made bad things happen to him since Drew prayed on CM Punk getting hurt. Punk said that Drew has taken his ball and he has gone home. It’s interruption time with…Paul Heyman? Oh my.

Paul Heyman, the WWE Hall of Famer, walked out in a suit while the fans chanted “ECW” for him. Heyman said he came out there now because he’s running late and it’s “hot as balls outside.” Paul said that when CM Punk opens a show it’s hot as balls in the Allstate Arena. Heyman said that Punk sat next to Paul’s children when he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Heyman said despite being the Wise Man of the Tribal Chief Roman Reigns, he told the world that he was Punk’s best friend. Heyman said he meant it then and he means it now. The fans chanted: “We Want Roman.” Punk said that there’s one man who can hijack his promo leading to Roman Reigns chants and it’s Heyman. Paul went into the ring to give Punk a big hug. The fans cheered.

Heyman said that driving in they were listening to sports radio, and they said that Chicago is CM Punk’s town. Heyman claimed that Solo Sikoa. Heyman said that now that Solo is the Head of the Table (Heyman struggled to say that), Solo wants every town to be his town and he wanted to do Punk a favor while Heyman wants a favor back. Heyman said that any day now Punk will be cleared. Heyman said that if Punk doesn’t get out of there right now then they are coming for him. Heyman mentioned the extra security that are for the Wyatts, not for the rogue Samoans and Tongans. Heyman warned Punk to get the hell out of there right now. There were “CM Punk” chants from the crowd.

Punk said that you’re serious because Solo and the Tongans are going to jump him in Chicago? The fans were chanting “f**k you Solo” and here comes Solo Sikoa with Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa.

Solo Sikoa told Punk if he wants to be on Solo’s show in his city then you’ve got two options. Solo told Punk to pay respect to him and The Bloodline or they will make sure that Punk’s ass never gets cleared to wrestle again. There were more “CM Punk” chants. Punk asked Heyman what you wanted to ask of Punk if Punk did this for him. Heyman: “Take me with you.” The fans chanted “yes” for that.

Punk: “Solo, I acknowledge the fact that I don’t see The Bloodline standing in front of me.” Punk said that he sees a couple of fake-ass Usos and a phony, cosplay Tribal Chief. The Bloodline got on the apron and then they went into the ring. Cody Rhodes, the WWE Champion, showed up behind Punk and Cody had a bat in his hand while handing a bat to Punk as well.

Cody said that Solo fashioned himself as the Head of the Table. Cody said he’s already beaten one Head of the Table, so why don’t leave your family backstage while Randy & Kevin won’t accompany him and why don’t they settle this tonight? Solo agreed to it. Cody’s music played to end it. Punk and Cody hugged in the ring.

Analysis: There was no announcement from CM Punk about being cleared to return to the ring like he teased last weekend, but that clearance should happen soon. It was still an eventful promo. Punk was great talking about the Drew McIntyre story and showing no remorse about screwing Drew over. Heyman was terrific as usual with the warning while also telling Punk he wanted to go with him, which the fans loved. Cody Rhodes making the save was a cool way to end it. It also set up a huge match for later in the show with Cody facing Solo in a singles match.

Bianca Belair was shown backstage as Jade Cargill spoke to her saying she wanted to get a rematch for their Women’s Tag Team Titles. Belair said tonight she’s focused on qualifying for Money in the Bank and then they’ll get their Tag Team Titles back.

Bianca Belair entered for her match.


It’s official: Cody Rhodes will face Solo Sikoa later in the show.

Cody Rhodes was shown walking backstage. Randy Orton and Kevin Owens were there to talk to Cody. Orton asked Cody if he was sure he wanted to do this. Cody said he’s got this. Owens said that they always have a plan. Cody told Owens he had a plan too and wished Kevin good luck.

Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Bianca Belair vs. Chelsea Green vs. Michin

Belair and Michin hit Green with repeated forearms to knock Green out of the ring. After Belair did a cartwheel, Green punched her in the mouth. Michin got a rollup for two. Belair avoided a Michin dropkick. Green pulled Belair out of the ring. Belair hit Michin with a forearm, then a forearm for Green and Michin/Belair exchanged punches. Green hit a suicide dive on both women. Green was stunned that she hit the move. The show went to break.


The match returned with a double belly-to-back suplex off the turnbuckle with all three women taking the bump. Bayley was shown watching the match. Belair got a rollup for two on Michin. There was a sunset flip by Michin on Belair for two. Michin hit Eat Defeat on Belair, who bumped out of the ring. Green got a rollup on Michin for two. Michin headbutted Green and Michin hit a Styles Clash on Green for two because Belair broke up the pin. The fans were chanting “this is awesome” for the good action. Belair hit a release German Suplex on Michin. Belair hit the KOD with no cover because Green tossed Belair out of the ring and Green covered Michin for the pinfall win. It went about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Chelsea Green

Analysis: *** A good match that was fast paced and exciting from the moment the bell rang. The fans were really into it. The result was an upset because Green really isn’t pushed that much, but in a triple threat match, you can do that kind of finish where Belair hits the KOD slam on Michin and Green was there to capitalize for the win. It was done really well. It’s smart to book upset finishes like that.

That win means that Chelsea Green joins IYO SKY in the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match. There will be six women in the match.

Analysis: We don’t know the rest of the field yet, but Chelsea Green would be a very interesting Money in the Bank holder if they went all the way and had her win the match. As a character, Green is so entertaining.

Bayley, the WWE Women’s Champion, was standing backstage watching the TV. Blair Davenport told Bayley that she’s going to beat Naomi next week and she looks forward to cashing in Money in the Bank on Bayley.

Paul Heyman was backstage with Solo Sikoa, who asked Heyman if he was going to leave. Heyman said no. Solo told Heyman to tell the Tongans something about Randy Orton and Kevin Owens. We couldn’t hear it because there was a sound issue. Heyman said he would go do it. Solo said when Heyman comes back, they will need to have a talk.


They showed highlights of last week’s Grayson Waller Effect talk show where #DIY told Austin Theory that Waller was using him.

Grayson Waller, who is one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, was interviewed by Kayla Braxton backstage. Waller said he would qualify for Money in the Bank for Austin Theory, who wasn’t there this week. #DIY’s Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa walked up to Waller saying that Waller didn’t care about Theory. There was somebody that got smashed into the garage door behind them.

The garage door opened up to reveal that CM Punk was a bloody mess on the ground with Drew McIntyre standing over him! McIntyre had blood on both of his hands. McIntyre carried Punk on his shoulders from the backstage area and he put Punk down by the entrance area. Drew took a bracelet off Punk’s wrist and Drew put it in his pocket. Smackdown GM Nick Aldis walked out from the back and shoved McIntyre, so McIntyre shoved him back. There were other officials there to check on Punk as well as a medical team that was there to put Punk on a stretcher.

Analysis: That was awesome. I swear I said it to a friend earlier in the day that I wanted to see McIntyre attack Punk because nobody would expect it since Drew “quit” WWE, but Drew is a heel and we know that heels lie. That’s why it is a smart thing to do. I loved it. A bloody attack to add more heat to this rivalry that continues to get better. No words were spoken. Just actions. I liked it a lot.


A replay was shown of what happened before the break. CM Punk was taken away on a stretcher.

There was a live shot of CM Punk getting loaded into a stretcher and the ambulance drove away. Smackdown GM Nick Aldis was there and he was frustrated.

Carmelo Hayes was already in the ring while the end of Tama Tonga’s entrance was shown. They showed Randy Orton’s full entrance and he got a big ovation as usual. Barrett mentioned the sound issue earlier saying that Solo Sikoa didn’t want Randy Orton or Kevin Owens to qualify for Money in the Bank.

Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Randy Orton vs. Tama Tonga vs. Carmelo Hayes

Tama and Melo teamed up early on to beat up Orton with punches and kicks. Melo got a rollup on Tama for two. Orton hit Melo with an uppercut and tossed Tama out of the ring. They left the ring where Melo hit Orton with a forearm to the back. Tama worked over with punches while Melo joined in with punches on Orton as well. Orton knocked both guys down and then Orton slammed Tonga onto the commentary table. Orton slammed Melo onto the commentary table as well. That led to a break.


It was Tama in control of Melo as the show while Orton was down on the floor. Melo broke free leading to a superkick on Tama. Melo spun around Tama’s body leading to a facebuster into the mat for two. Melo got an inside cradle on Tama for two. Melo went for a springboard attack, but Tama caught him with a backbreaker for two because Orton broke up the pin. Orton nailed Melo with an uppercut and Orton hit a powerslam on Tama. Melo was on the turnbuckle, so Orton punched him and Orton followed up with a superplex off the middle ropes for two. Orton used to go up top to do that, but he went off the middle rope here. Tama jumped on Orton’s back with a sleeper and Orton slammed Tama off. Orton did a thumb to the eye on Tama and Melo hit First 48 on Orton. Tama with a flatliner on Orton. Tama and Melo argued. Orton tossed Tama out of the ring. Orton got a hold of both guys on the apron leading to the double draping DDT by Orton on both opponents. Orton set up for the RKO, but Tonga Loa was on the apron and Orton punched Loa down. Kevin Owens attacked Loa in the aisle. Orton sent Tama out of the ring while Melo got a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Orton for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Carmelo Hayes

Analysis: ***1/4 A big win for Carmelo Hayes thanks to the chaos at ringside involving Randy Orton having to deal with Tonga Loa on the floor although Kevin Owens was also there to help him. I thought Melo might get the win here because it seems likely that we’ll get Orton, Owens & Cody Rhodes against The Bloodline trio at Money in the Bank, so having Orton lose here makes sense. It also gives Melo a huge win since he can brag about pinning Randy Orton and of course the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! proves to be deadly yet again.

Carmelo Hayes celebrated the win while Corey Graves called it the upset of the year. Melo’s win means he joins Jey Uso in the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match.

There was a video package showing highlights from Raw when the Wyatt Sicks made their official debut while also attacking random people backstage including Chad Gable. The five people in the group (Bo Dallas as Uncle Howdy along with Erick Rowan, Joe Gacy, Dexter Lumis & Nikki Cross in costumes) posed with a lantern to end the show. They went to a break at the end of the video.


LA Knight Calls Out Logan Paul

LA Knight made his entrance to a big ovation. Knight called out Logan Paul and to bring the US Title right now. There was no sign of Paul, so Knight trashed Paul for being a coward. Knight talked about facing Santos Escobar and Logan Paul in a triple threat match at Madison Square Garden in a Money in the Bank qualifier. Knight kept on talking, but here’s an interruption from Santos Escobar.

Santos Escobar walked out into the arena saying that Knight called for Logan Paul, not Escobar. Santos said that Knight was calling out Logan Paul like a fanboy and it’s embarrassing. Escobar told Knight he had to deal with him too. Knight said that every time he’s had to beat Escobar he has done it so he’s looking past him. Escobar kicked Knight in the leg for a cheap shot. Escobar did a lift, Knight got out of it and Knight hit Escobar with the BFT.

Knight looked into the camera to say more words, but Logan Paul hit him from behind with a forearm to the back. Paul sent Knight shoulder first into the ring post. Knight followed up with a punch to the jaw to put Knight down. Next week’s Smackdown has a Money in the Bank qualifier with Knight, Paul and Escobar.

Analysis: A solid segment to continue the build to the LA Knight-Logan Paul story that is going to lead to a match. That match might be at SummerSlam, but maybe it happens at Money in the Bank as well. The segment didn’t make Santos Escobar look like much of a threat although if he wins the match next week then people will forget about how this segment made him look. I liked that this was done in a way where they got right to the point rather than dragging on too long.

After a break is another Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match.


During the entrance of Kevin Owens, he was attacked by Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa from behind. They beat up Owens on the floor. Randy Orton made the save, but Owens was limping around on his left knee.

Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Andrade vs. Grayson Waller vs. Kevin Owens

Waller attacked Owens in the left knee while Andrade hit a spinning back elbow on Waller for two. The three men fought on the floor with Owens actually hitting a senton. They battled on the apron where Owens clotheslined Andrade into the ring. Owens tried a move on Waller on the apron, but Waller countered with a back body drop on the apron. Andrade did a sunset flip Powerbomb on Waller on the floor. That was impressive as the show went to break.


The match returned as all three guys were on their knees exchanging strikes. Andrade chopped Owens a few times. Waller hit Andrade with a forearm and Waller hit a jumping knee. Andrade sent Waller into the turnbuckle. Andrade hit running knee attacks on Waller and Owens back to back leading to Andrade getting a two count on Owens. The prizefighter Owens was limping around on the left knee as he exchanged punches with Andrade. Waller went back into the ring leading to a double flatliner on both opponents leading to two nearfalls for Waller. Owens went for a Stunner, Waller shoved him off and Waller kicked Owens in the left leg. Andrade missed a corner attack on Waller, who moved and punched Andrade. When Waller went up top, Andrade went after him there with a forearm. Owens joined the party leading to Owens hitting a Powerbomb for the Tower of Doom spot. Owens went up top and hit a Swanton Bomb on Andrade for two. Owens never wins with that, but it was a good nearfall. Owens wanted a Popup Powerbomb, but his knee was hurting. Owens hit a Stunner for two because Waller broke up the pin. Waller rammed the knee into the apron and Waller hit a DDT on Owens on the floor. Waller jumped into the ring going for a move, but Andrade caught him leading to The Message neckbreaker for the pinfall win after ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Andrade

Analysis: ***1/4 It was an entertaining match like the two other triple threats on this show. Owens looked like he had it won with the Stunner on Andrade, but Waller was in the perfect spot to break up the pin and that led to a two count. Waller took care of Owens after that. I liked the finish with Waller jumping into the ring like he tends to do and Andrade was in the perfect spot to hit his finisher for the win. The three triple threat matches all had finishes I liked. This one may have been the best of the three.

The win by Andrade means he is in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match along with Jey Uso and Carmelo Hayes

A Progressive Match Flo video showed highlights of Cody Rhodes beating AJ Styles in the I Quit match at Clash at the Castle.

Cody Rhodes, the Undisputed WWE Champion, was shown walking backstage for his match up next.


They acknowledged the NBA Champion Boston Celtics. They showed highlights of their parade and Kristaps Porzingis of the Celtics was wearing the custom WWE Title for most of it.

Tiffany Stratton walked up to Michin to mock her for not winning her Money in the Bank qualifying match. Michin said at least she’s not going to Nia Jax for protection. Stratton tried a punch, Michin blocked and Michin punched Stratton. Nia Jax showed up to ram Michin into some equipment case that was there. Jax nodded at Stratton, who smiled about it.

Analysis: It continues the story that Stratton and Jax may be becoming allies as we have seen for a few weeks.

Next week on WWE Smackdown in New York City at MSG:

* Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Candice LeRae vs. Jade Cargill vs. Tiffany Stratton

* Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Naomi vs. Blair Davenport vs. Indi Hartwell

* Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: LA Knight vs. Logan Paul vs. Santos Escobar

Analysis: I’m going with Tiffany Stratton to win by pinning Candice LeRae. I think Naomi will win the other women’s match. As for the guys, I think Escobar might win, but maybe they go with Knight there.

Kayla Braxton was standing by the garage door where Drew McIntyre and CM Punk were earlier. Braxton said she tried to talk to Drew, but Drew said nothing other than he’ll see us on Monday. Braxton said that CM Punk will be staying at the hospital tonight to be evaluated.

Cody Rhodes, the Undisputed WWE Champion, made his entrance for the main event. Big ovation for Cody as usual with the fans singing his song. The show went to break.


Solo Sikoa was backstage behind the curtain. Paul Heyman said that Roman Reigns told him that CM Punk was off limits because Punk was personal to Heyman. Paul said that Cody Rhodes was supposed to be in check so that when Roman Reigns comes back…and Solo interrupted Heyman. Solo said because he loves Heyman, he told Heyman that Roman is not coming back. Solo said he was sorry. Heyman was stunned by that. Heyman: “How can that be?”

Analysis: A shocking statement by Solo Sikoa saying that Roman Reigns isn’t coming back. Does anybody believe it? No, but the way Heyman sold it was terrific. Heyman is a great actor.

Solo Sikoa made his entrance while Paul Heyman walked behind him. There were less than ten minutes left in the show. Graves said they’ll stay with this match until it reaches its conclusion.

Cody Rhodes vs. Solo Sikoa (w/Paul Heyman)

This is for Cody’s Undisputed WWE Title. Cody knocked Solo out of the ring followed by Cody hitting a suicide dive on Cody on the floor. Solo came back with a punch. Cody countered Solo on the floor leading to Cody sending Solo into the steel steps. Cody sent Solo into the other set of steel steps as well. Tama Tonga & Tonga Loa showed up to attack Cody. That was it just two minutes into the match.

Winner by disqualification: Cody Rhodes

Analysis: * I don’t think anybody watching this should be surprised that it was such a short match. It was all about having a brawl after the match.

After the match, Toma Tonga and Tonga Loa beat up Cody with punches and kicks. Solo wanted to give Cody the Samoan Spike, but here comes Randy Orton and Kevin Owens with the save. Owens gave Loa a Stunner while Orton gave Tama an RKO. The trio of Owens, Cody and Orton stared down Solo against the turnbuckle. Solo acted like he was pleading with them, but then Solo smiled. Jacob Fatu showed up in the ring with superkicks. Graves pointed out who it was. Jacob gave Owens a clothesline. Jacob gave Owens a Samoan Drop on the steel steps. Graves said that Tama and Loa were dangerous, but Jacob needs to be locked up. Jacob ran around the ring and gave Orton a spear through the barricade. The barricade didn’t break easily, but it did break eventually. Jacob went into the ring, Cody punched him a few times and Cody clotheslined Jacob out of the ring. Jacob slammed Cody on the apron. Jacob headbutted Cody by the commentary table. Jacob went up top and jumped off with a Superfly Splash that put Cody through the commentary table. The fans chanted “holy shit” for Jacob putting Cody through the table. Jacob went into the ring and Solo hugged him. Graves: “God help us all, there’s a werewolf on the loose.” Solo, Jacob, Tama & Loa all held their hands in the air like The Bloodline tends to do. Paul Heyman was on the floor with a shocked look on his face. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: There’s the highly anticipated debut of Jacob Fatu. He has been signed for a couple of months, so it was just a matter of when. Jacob Fatu is a cousin of The Usos and Solo Sikoa so he’s part of The Bloodline family. He has the same last name as them too. Jacob was in MLW for several years, he’s really talented as a wrestler and he’s finally in WWE where he should thrive. They booked it well with Solo Sikoa looking like he was in a defensive position against three rivals, but then he had a plan and it was the perfect spot for Jacob to do a cheap attack while also looking like a badass. Jacob essentially took out three guys by himself since he gave Owens a Samoan Drop on the steel steps, gave Orton a Spear through the barricade and hit a Superfly Splash off the top rope onto Cody through the table. It was a spectacular debut for Jacob, who immediately looks like a huge threat to anybody who goes against The Bloodline. This was excellent.

I think at Money in the Bank the most likely scenario is some sort of tag team match with Cody Rhodes, Kevin Owens & Randy Orton against The Bloodline’s Solo Sikoa, Jacob Fatu and Tama Tonga. They can leave Tonga Loa out of the match. That’s fine.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. CM Punk
  2. Andrade, Carmelo Hayes & Chelsea Green
  3. Jacob Fatu


The Scoreboard

9 out of 10

Last week: 7

2024 Average: 7.37


Final Thoughts on WWE Smackdown

I thought it was an excellent episode of Smackdown from top to bottom. It gets a 9/10 from me, which is my high for any TV show I have reviewed this year. There was a lot of great content throughout the night. Booking three triple threats might seem repetitive, but I liked all three matches and they all had creative finishes. Chelsea Green winning in a match with Bianca Belair is brilliant. Carmelo Hayes got a huge win as well even though most people watching might have thought Randy Orton would win. The other triple threat was also a lot of fun with Andrade getting the big victory.

The CM Punk stuff was interesting. Punk didn’t announce if he was cleared to return to the ring, but he did get interrupted by best friend Paul Heyman. Punk was saved from a Bloodline attack by Cody Rhodes. However, Drew McIntyre arrived as a surprise and beat up Punk although we never saw it. We just saw Punk as a bloody mess while Drew had blood on his hands. It made Drew like a lying dirtbag because he said he quit on Raw, but guess what? Heels lie, my friends. It’s a wonderful heel move to add even more heat to this Drew/Punk story. I love it.

In the main event, Cody Rhodes’ match with Solo Sikoa only went a couple of minutes before The Bloodline interfered. However, Solo had a plan because Jacob Fatu made his debut with the group and he was a Samoan badass! Jacob took out Owens, Orton and Rhodes by himself. That splash off the top to put Cody through the table was very impressive. I’m so glad Jacob is there because he’s better than other guys in The Bloodline and booking him like a dominant badass right away is a wise move. Awesome show.


Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays. You can contact me using any of the methods below.

John Canton


Twitter/X: @johnreport